NDP faces complaint over letters mailed during byelection
Published Monday, March 17, 2014 10:34PM EDT
As the New Democrats campaign for electoral fairness and criticize the Harper government’s Elections Act, they face a complaint over allegedly using public funds for partisan purposes in a Quebec byelection.
CTV News has learned the NDP are currently under review for “information letters” sent out during last November’s byelection in Bourassa.
The letters were sent in envelopes using House of Commons postage.
Critics claim those letters were actually partisan flyers.
The letters in question display an NDP logo, make derogatory comments about Conservatives and Liberals, and ask residents who they think is the best leader.
While mailing letters using government resources is legal, sending out partisan flyers is prohibited.
Bloc Quebecois MP Andres Bellavance alleges the NDP twisted the rules to promote their own agenda and says the letters should never have been mailed out using House of Common resources.
“They find a way to bypass the rules,” he told CTV News.
Bellavance has asked for an investigation by the committee in charge of parliamentary spending: the Board of Internal Economy.
CTV News has learned the committee is now closely looking into the complaint and is expected to decide within weeks if the NDP should be sanctioned.
“We asked the Board to ask the NDP to reimburse what it cost -- the envelope, the paper and everything it cost. It’s forbidden to send partisan flyers to other ridings,” Bellavance said.
The Liberals have also complained and asked Elections Canada to investigate.
“With respect to elections, everybody has to follow the rules -- including the NDP,” said Liberal MP Marc Garneau.
With a report by CTV’s Laurie Graham in Ottawa